What's new

What is Walker Kessler's upside?


Udidthizz

Well-Known Member
Kessler is leading Jazz rotation players in win shares/48 minutes (only Azebuike and Potter are higher), so he's already making a clear impact. Rookies often feel the need to prove themselves and end up trying to do too much to make an impression. Kessler is smart and doesn't do that, he plays the way he knows and it's helping the Jazz already. Even if this is all he is, he will be a solid rotation center for 10 years. But I'm irrationally optimistic and think he will expand his offensive game as he grows more accustomed to the NBA and gains confidence. I really wouldn't be surprised if he adds a 3 point shot at some point (even if it won't necessarily be pretty or great).
 


sip

Well-Known Member
But that’s the thing. Walker gets vertical just fine. It’s not his biggest strength as an athlete, only because his ability to run the floor is elite….but he’s not a groundhog by any means
Now you are going overboard. He isn't unathletic like some people claim but he also isn't super athletic like you are claiming. He is a solid athlete and that is just fine for how big he is.
 

Release the Kraken

Well-Known Member
And very skilled. Great hands, great touch, great feel for the game, good footwork and body positioning. ambidextrious too. High BBIQ. Good timing to block/alter shots. (He was an all star twice. I hope Kessler ends up being an allstar)
I wasn’t trying to suggest that he or Poetl or Miller were bad players, only bad comparisons IMO to the Kessler skill set. None of those guys were/are rim protectors, Kessler is a rim protector on top of being a good offensive player. For comparison, Ilgauskus, by far the most accomplished of the three, averaged 1.6 blocks playing 27.2 minutes a game whereas Kessler in his very first season is averaging 1.7 blocks playing 14.9 minutes a game.

Kessler is a bit of a unicorn in that as a rookie he is already highly skilled on both sides of the ball. For comparison, Kessler’s 2 pt % is .743 whereas Ilgauskus’ averaged .478 for his career with his best 2 pt % in his rookie year at .519.
 
Last edited:

Tremendous Upside

Well-Known Member
I wasn’t trying to suggest that he or Poetl or Miller were bad players, only bad comparisons IMO to the Kessler skill set. None of those guys were/are rim protectors, Kessler is a rim protector on top of being a good offensive player. For comparison, Ilgauskus, by far the most accomplished of the three, averaged 1.6 blocks playing 27.2 minutes a game whereas Kessler in his very first season is averaging 1.7 blocks playing 14.9 minutes a game.

Kessler is a bit of a unicorn in that as a rookie he is already highly skilled on both sides of the ball. For comparison, Kessler’s 2 pt % is .743 whereas Ilgauskus’ averaged .478 for his career with his best 2 pt % in his rookie year at .519.
Kessler scores from putbacks and spoon fed dunks. Let's not go overboard here. I like the kid a lot, but as far as individual offensive skills go, he's a complete non factor at this point. He has no usable low post moves to speak of, which is something of a concern because he lives in the paint. That will have to improve, and I trust it will. He's smart and a student of the game.

As for the athleticism debate... Kessler is the exact same height as Markkanen, but I guess it's safe to say he can't dunk from the FT line like Lauri can, even though Kessler is a lot longer. I wouldn't call Markkanen a super athlete - he's good but not great. Kessler is OK, but really nothing special on that front. His best attributes are his timing, smarts and length.

I agree that he'll easily have 10+ year NBA career if he wants it though.
 

LogGrad98

Well-Known Member
Contributor
2020-21 Award Winner
I wasn’t trying to suggest that he or Poetl or Miller were bad players, only bad comparisons IMO to the Kessler skill set. None of those guys were/are rim protectors, Kessler is a rim protector on top of being a good offensive player. For comparison, Ilgauskus, by far the most accomplished of the three, averaged 1.6 blocks playing 27.2 minutes a game whereas Kessler in his very first season is averaging 1.7 blocks playing 14.9 minutes a game.

Kessler is a bit of a unicorn in that as a rookie he is already highly skilled on both sides of the ball. For comparison, Kessler’s 2 pt % is .743 whereas Ilgauskus’ averaged .478 for his career with his best 2 pt % in his rookie year at .519.
To be fair to Ilgauskas he took more shots outside 3 feet as well. Kessler has been feasting on layups, dunks, and put-backs. That will automatically drive your FG% up. It will likely dip once he starts taking 5 foot hook shots or 12 foot contested jumpers.
 

LogGrad98

Well-Known Member
Contributor
2020-21 Award Winner
Kessler scores from putbacks and spoon fed dunks. Let's not go overboard here. I like the kid a lot, but as far as individual offensive skills go, he's a complete non factor at this point. He has no usable low post moves to speak of, which is something of a concern because he lives in the paint. That will have to improve, and I trust it will. He's smart and a student of the game.

As for the athleticism debate... Kessler is the exact same height as Markkanen, but I guess it's safe to say he can't dunk from the FT line like Lauri can, even though Kessler is a lot longer. I wouldn't call Markkanen a super athlete - he's good but not great. Kessler is OK, but really nothing special on that front. His best attributes are his timing, smarts and length.

I agree that he'll easily have 10+ year NBA career if he wants it though.
To be fair to Kessler we haven't really asked him to do anything more than put-backs or dunks. We don't pass him the ball with his back to the basket at all, so we really don't know what he could do with it. That might be because he simply cannot do anything with it and the team knows that, or by design as it isn't his primary function when he is on the floor.

There is a little more in this than just put-backs, although put-backs and dunks are still 80% of his highlights, but he has a few nice jumpers and some nice shots from 5-8 feet in, including a couple of lefty hooks, and some reasonably nice 3 pt shots in there. I wish we would let him get the ball down low back to the basket so we can see exactly what he could do with it, even if he fails miserably. He needs the touches and chances to develop some confidence.

 

Release the Kraken

Well-Known Member
Kessler scores from putbacks and spoon fed dunks. Let's not go overboard here. I like the kid a lot, but as far as individual offensive skills go, he's a complete non factor at this point. He has no usable low post moves to speak of, which is something of a concern because he lives in the paint. That will have to improve, and I trust it will. He's smart and a student of the game.

As for the athleticism debate... Kessler is the exact same height as Markkanen, but I guess it's safe to say he can't dunk from the FT line like Lauri can, even though Kessler is a lot longer. I wouldn't call Markkanen a super athlete - he's good but not great. Kessler is OK, but really nothing special on that front. His best attributes are his timing, smarts and length.

I agree that he'll easily have 10+ year NBA career if he wants it though.
You’re right about him not being featured in the offense - not convinced that that equates to no post game. He did have some huge offensive games in college. We’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg folks a lot more to his game that because he is a rookie we have yet to flesh out.

As Tony Jones said, the kid is athletic and I would add excellent fundamentals. I am mostly impressed with his hands and footwork but a strong case could be made for his reflexes, timing agility and quickness. As much as many hate to admit it, I think his upside is a lot closer to Rudy Gobert than any other name thrown out there.
 

mcbsst

Member
Kessler has exceeded expectations so far. I would not bet against him getting a lot better. He’s only played 13 games and couldn’t even get his feet wet in the summer league. High bbiq and work ethic goes a long way. His father and uncle were both drafted in the NBA so the family knows basketball. It’s going to be fun watching him grow with this team
 


Top